Winter can be busy at your local SWCD

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Winter time for natural resources professionals is something that I have taken to calling meeting season.

I think of it this way because this is the time of year that we like to get together, review what we have accomplished in the last year, and make plans for the New Year. This can include many different things. Tree and fish sales get outlined, reports are submitted, meeting with other agencies are held and programing is developed for the coming year.

Does this mean we stop going out meeting with stakeholders and assisting in conservation efforts? No, not in the least. In fact some activities pick up.

Busy time

As the ground freezes and hardens, timber harvesting can go more smoothly with less impact on forest soils. As bats move to caves to hibernate and birds fly south for the winter, timber harvests can move forward without impacting these species. Winter also means many of our stakeholders are not working in the field as much. Work can get done on that tractor that only had a quick fix to get it through harvest last fall. Or if you are calving, hopefully you are in a warmer barn and not out trying to fix a frozen water line.

What goes on

While you probably know how agriculture and forestry activity changes in the winter, you might not know what programs your local or neighboring Soil and Water Conservation District has coming up.

Working closely with extension, ODNR, and the NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts have been busy. Districts are planning activities for all ranges of people and if you do not see something that you would like to learn about, let them know. If they have for some reason been missing a chance to provide programing or assistance to the community how else are they going to find out?

Goes both ways

You can also help us too.

Ever get the neighbor that you see doing something not quite right or is always coming up to you with questions? Direct them our way. Despite our efforts to get the word out we still get people come in and ask what we do, so help us share our vision with our communities.

Now that is a question, right? What does a Soil and Water Conservation District do?

Our mission here at the Harrison SWCD is “to promote Stewardship by providing education and technical assistance to cooperators for the conservation of our natural resources”.

Wide range

Group events such as the Eastern Ohio Grazing Council, Crop Production Partnership, and Backyard food production will all have several meetings throughout the year. These meetings present topics that you can use to improve your property, help you make informed decisions, save you money, and might even feed you in the process. There are also workshops on wide ranges of topics like tree care, water quality, or there could even be a grazing school happening in your area. If your area does not have these specific programs, there might be something similar.

One on one

Soil and Water Conservation Districts provide technical assistance by working one-on-one with landowners. You, the landowner, get to contact us and use our knowledge and contacts to help you in conservation, usually for free. If we do not quite know about that specific project, one of our partners does and we can help get you in contact with them.

Where can we help you on our technical assistance? Timber harvest notice of intents, best management practices, nutrient management, design of farm practices, applications to help you fund projects, management plans, erosion control, planting advice, and more.

It does not matter if you live in a city or deep in the woods, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts can help.

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Jonathan Roales is the natural resources technician for Harrison Soil and Water Conservation District. He holds bachelor’s degrees in both forestry and wildlife from Purdue University, and is also a Certified Arborist. He can be reached at jon.roales@hswcd.org or 740-942-8837.

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